Facebook "Graph Search", well, sucks

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CNN has published an interesting review of the newish Facebook Search Graph feature listing some of its major problems ...the beta version is far from being the Yelp, LinkedIn or Match.com killer:

Yelp still rocks

  • Like button which powers the whole Graph provides unreliable data: "People just don't wield the Like as often and as discerningly as is needed to turn Facebook into a useful recommendation tool."
  • Like button results can also be faked easily (Facebook ads made it very possible).
  • Like button is not enough to tell if your connections really recommend a particular place: "expand its search powers to comb through status updates and comments."

LinkedIn is still better for job search:

  • Facebook has insufficient information to be a search job search tool because "beyond listing current employers, people don't regularly update their Facebook profiles like their resumes. Facebook profiles are crafted with friends and family in mind, not potential bosses"

Match?

  • Next question, "Are we ready to turn Facebook into a dating site?" Facebook is also not a place people want to receive pick-up messages from strangers

I am still sceptical. I don't believe in Facebook search like I didn't believe in Google social (and I am using Google Plus by the way!)

What are your thoughts?

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Like button which powers the whole Graph provides unreliable data: "People just don't wield the Like as often and as discerningly as is needed to turn Facebook into a useful recommendation tool."

If we could turn the clock back 15 years or so and look at the influence the organic, uncorrupted link graph would have on results, I wonder if commercial queries would be better served by that ecosystem or todays.

 

Wait and see - if FB search is going to work.

Search is hard, but Danny Sullivans article does outline the opportunities

http://searchengineland.com/up-close-with-facebook-graph-search-145258

Speculation:

Who knows maybe Facebook will open the walled garden, to extend the reach..to sites outside. if Facebook allows developers to build customized functions using a facebookAPI.  Facebook would get direct data indexed first, and more relevancy.  They would be in no danger from Google as the stuff would be indexed first on FB, and they could make the FB/BING search a mandatory part of the contract.for site/App develepors --Who knows how far it will go..

I'm skeptical too

As the CNN article points out, compared to LinkedIN there is actually very little professional data in Facebook. They would need to build out a much more developed profile and recommendations to even begin to compete on functionality. That may well change the nature of Facebook too much for some people. However the greater problem is that many people, for obvious reasons, seem to like the idea of seperating their professional and personal online personas.

In terms of a dating site, I'm equally unsure. With a dedicated dating site, membership is a defacto 'opt-in" to the fact they are looking for a relationship. On Facebook, they would again need to build functionality to allow this happen properly (the idea of investigating potential partners from your network is a little creepy, and making those contacts without the knowledge of the shared connection could lead to some awkward situations).

If I didn't know better, I would guess they have literally had a brain-storm around what you could do with a network of 1bln users, and announced their favourite three at the press conference to keep the market happy. How about a geneology site, did that not make the cut? It's one thing to announce the 'possibility' but it shouldn't be taken as a given that they can easily step into markets dominated by tools that are very much fit for purpose.

 

 

more like a stalker's dreamworld

Somehow, the idea of some slimeball being able to search for "single girls in San Diego that like to party" doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in Zuck's version of search.

Granted, people put far too much crap out there, and someone with the motivation and a little imagination could find them anyway. But why create a tool that allows them to scale their stalking?

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